Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats


VOX  HUMB0U3T.                 279
Humboldt's principal study during the first years
of Ms retirement was archaeology, and the political
speculations in which he sometimes indulged were
merely accessory. But few of the results of Ms
studies of this period appeared in print; partly "because
he did not think of it, and only communicated the
most considerable of Ms works to such of Ms friends
with whom he could enter into improving discussions
upon them. ..Among these the most useful to Mm in
these studies was IP. A. Wolf, the great archaeologian
of Halle? and the friendship cemented by these
mutual studies proved an enduring one through, life.
But Humboldt met with the most beneficial sym-
pathy in Ms archs&ologicai studies from his highly
educated wife, who was capable of following him even
here. She joined his studies, read "with Mm in
Homer, Pindar3 Herodotus2 &c.? and7 when "Wolf
visited them in their retirement, she joined in their
. conversations " illustrating the scientific earnestness o
the men with the grace of a feminine understanding
of ancient art and poetry/" The happy couple spent
no day without studying Greet, and therefore Hum-
boldt subsequently dedicated to her his published
translation of Agamemnon^ that ripe fruit of his Hel-
lenistic studies^ in memory of those years spent in
common in intellectual enjoyment.
In the February of 1*792, Humboldt removed to
Erfort to await the confinement of his wife5 near Ms
father-in-law? and within reach of better medical
assistance. Caroline von Beulwitz spent some time in
their house, and took part in the intellectual occupa-
tions., which soffered no interruption from the change
of residence7 as Humboldt^ on the contrary, here com-
menced the translation of some of PindarJs odes^ some
of which were subsequently published.
In the middle of May, 1792., Humboldt was grati-
fied by the birth of his first child, a girl> wMck
called Caroline^ after her mother.    On this             he
wrote to IForster (June 1) :C( My little girl is a lovely
little creature, larger and stronger than so young a*,eMlel
generally is3 full of life and merriment, and has very